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83-Steelers-43
09-24-2006, 12:04 AM
AFC North is place to be

By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, September 24, 2006


The first, in what should be a series of six marquee games, will be played today at Heinz Field, when the Cincinnati Bengals visit the Steelers.
It's the first elite-vs.-elite meeting in the AFC North Division, and it ought to be something to see, as it should when the Bengals and Ravens, and the Ravens and Steelers get together.

Can it get any better than that?

Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer thinks not.

"Everybody keeps talking about the NFC East being the toughest division," Palmer said. "I think we can go pound for pound with them. I think we can give any division a run for their money."

Palmer included the woeful Browns in his presentation for AFC North superiority -- "They're going to win a lot of games this year." -- which reveals that perhaps wide receiver Chad Johnson wasn't the only Bengals player knocked "a little loopy" last Sunday.

Still, the point is well taken.

The NFC East is the national media darling, mostly because New York, Philadelphia, Dallas and Washington are more heavily populated and more interesting places than Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Baltimore.

But the AFC North remains the place where the best football will be played this season.

Consider:

Defending champions

AFC North: Steelers (Super Bowl, 11-5), Bengals (division, 11-5).

NFC East: Giants (11-5).

Edge: AFC North.

First-team All-pros

AFC North: Johnson, Bengals; Willie Anderson, OT, Bengals; Alan Faneca, OG, Steelers; Troy Polamalu, SS, Steelers.

NFC East: Tiki Barber, RB, Giants; Osi Umenyiora, DE, Giants.

Edge: AFC North

Super Bowl quarterbacks

AFC North: Ben Roethlisberger (1-0 as a starter), Steelers; Steve McNair, Ravens (0-1).

NFC East: Donovan McNabb, Eagles (0-1); Drew Bledsoe, Cowboys (0-1).

Edge: AFC North.

Super Bowl coaches, I

AFC North: Bill Cowher, Steelers; Brian Billick, Ravens.

NFC East: Joe Gibbs, Redskins; Bill Parcells, Cowboys; Andy Reid, Eagles.

Edge: NFC East

Super Bowl coaches II

• Including coaches with Super Bowl experience as assistants

AFC North: Cowher, Steelers; Billick, Ravens; Marvin Lewis, Bengals, Romeo Crennel, Browns.

NFC East: Gibbs, Redskins; Parcells, Cowboys; Reid, Eagles; Tom Coughlin, Giants.

Edge: Even

All-time Super Bowl wins

AFC North: Steelers 5, Ravens 1.

NFC East: Cowboys 5, Redskins 3, Giants 2.

Edge: NFC East.

All-time Super Bowl appearances

AFC North: Steelers 6, Bengals 2, Ravens 1.

NFC East: Cowboys 8, Redskins 5, Giants 3, Eagles 2.

Edge: NFC East.

Top rankings, 2005

AFC North: Offense -- Bengals 6, Defense -- Steelers 4.

NFC East: Offense -- Giants 4, Defense -- Redskins 9.

Edge: AFC North.

Top rankings, 2006

AFC North: Offense -- Bengals 9, Defense -- Ravens 1

NFC East: Offense -- Eagles 1, Defense -- Cowboys 8

Edge: NFC East.

Current combined records

AFC North: 5-3

NFC East: 3-5

Edge: AFC North.

That's 5-4-1 in the AFC North's favor, for those of you scoring at home.

More proof should be in the offing this afternoon.

Giants 30, Eagles 24 in overtime last Sunday stands as the game of the 2006 season so far.

It should hold up as such until the Bengals and Steelers kick the ball off.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_471945.html

SteelCityMan786
09-24-2006, 10:08 AM
Yep AFC North is the toughest division. You won't find better football in any other NFL Division.

19ward86
09-24-2006, 10:29 AM
i think u r a dumbass if u dont think the AFC north is the hardest division(not talking to u guys) that was a great read but just look at the teams records in the last 3 years. the steelers have had a 15-2, 6-10, and a 15-5, besides the 6-10 i garuntee that we have the winningest team in the last three years. the pats might beat us out but they had a bad record last season. i believe the afc north is the most dominant division ever.